Marconi continued to work long hours in his attic laboratory. Even with his father's disapproval by not giving him money to pay for his experiments, Marconi kept working, because he wanted to show his father he could really succeed. Once he even sold his shoes to get some money for equipment and other things so he could continue to work on his experiments.
Finally, Marconi succeeded in reproducing Hertz's experiment, and was able to send electromagnetic waves over an inch or so. After that, he tried to find ways to transmit the waves over longer distances. Even though he had many failures, he still persevered.
One day Marconi asked his brother, Alphonso, to help him send signals in the open air. He set up a receiver in the garden a short distance from the house and asked his brother to stand next to it and wave a red flag if a signal was received. Marconi rushed to his laboratory to tap out Morse Code, a series of dots and dashes on his transmitter. Almost immediately he saw Alphonso excitedly waving the red flag and he knew his experiment had worked! The two brothers then tried to extend the range farther and farther, eventually transmitting a message from one side of a hill to the other. For this experiment, Alphonso had to shoot a gun to tell his brother that the message had been received.
By the time Marconi was twenty-one years old, even his father was becoming impressed with his experiments. He gave Guglielmo money to buy materials and equipment for his inventions. Marconi then tried to offer his invention to the Italian Government, but was refused. Unfortunately, they already had a working system of overhead telegraphs and did not think that a wireless system was necessary. This was a great disappointment for Guglielmo and his father, but his mother was not discouraged. So, in February 1896, Marconi and his mother set off for England with two large trunks filled with wireless equipment.
Marconi's first entry in England was not very promising. Suspicious customs officials were so puzzled by the strange things that they insisted on taking them apart before they would let them pass. That meant his first job in England was to reassemble his broken equipment.
After repairing his equipment, Marconi applied for a patent for his invention. This patent was the first one ever issued for wireless telegraphy. With the help of his mother's relatives he was introduced to William Preece, the chief engineer of the General Post Office, who was very impressed with Marconi's achievements. He promised to do whatever he could to promote them. Through Preece's connection, Marconi was able to perform several successful demonstrations of his wireless equipment to the Post Office officials, and then to the military and naval observers.
After that, the general public became aware of Marconi's work when Preece gave a lecture to the British Association, which was an organization devoted to science and technology. Marconi demonstrated the use of his wireless transmitter during the lecture and, the next day, the name "Marconi" was in the newspaper headlines.